Thursday, December 31, 2009

A perfect ending...

spending part of the last day of 2009 with the guys we started it with. Happy New Year's Eve!!

The Pioneer Woman

I am so excited I can finally do this post (I had to wait until after Christmas because it would have ruined a few gifts)! A month and a half ago my friend, Sarah and I had the chance to meet The Pioneer Woman at a book signing in downtown St. Louis. The Pioneer Woman is a blogger who lives on a cattle ranch in the Midwest. She's posted a ton of recipes on her blog that she eventually turned into a cookbook. I've read her blog (mostly her photography stuff) off and on for a few years... so it was super fun to actually get the chance to meet her, her husband and sons and to have them sign some cookbooks for us (and a few for some family Christmas gifts :)).

The signing was held at a Cathedral in downtown St. Louis.

The Pioneer Woman answering questions...

Her older son, Bryce came by and signed his picture in our cookbooks.

Her youngest son.

Sarah (click her name to see more pics) and Marlboro Man (Pioneer Woman's husband).

She was so nice! She started speaking around 7pm that night... and we finally got our chance to have her sign our books around 10:30pm. She still treated us like we were some of the first people she met that night! Such a fun evening!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The bedtime routine...

Not really sure how this got worked into it 3 months ago...

but it did. Every single night when Carter's 5 minute timer goes off... he lays down so Dan can carry him up the stairs upside down. I think Dan's ready for the routine to change!! :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

20.5 Weeks

I HATE putting pictures of myself on the blog... but I really regret not doing it more when I was pregnant with Carter. So... here I am today at almost 21 weeks.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Claire Elaine Reeve

There are two reasons I can't believe I'm writing this right now. First... because I can't believe we're having a girl... and second... because I can't believe we found out!! We spent the last 20 weeks telling everyone that (we were pretty sure) we weren't going to find out what we were having.

Here's what happened. We went in for our appointment last week and told the woman doing our ultrasound that we did not want to find out. Claire was moving so much that it took a while to get all the measurements they needed. We left with a bunch of pictures and headed upstairs for an appointment with my doctor. We got on the elevator and looked at each other and both said we knew what it was. I've been convinced the entire pregnancy that it was a girl... but we both thought we saw something on the ultra sound that said otherwise (obviously we are not experts! :)). We met with our doctor and she said if we wanted to know we should stop back by the ultrasound office on our way out... because they don't always save those results. Since we were so sure we knew what it was... we stopped back by the office and had them put the results in an envelope. We couldn't wait and I opened the envelope on our drive home. We were shocked when we saw this...

So... now we know... although I don't think I'll really believe it until the day she is born. My due date is May 13th... but I have a c-section scheduled for May 10th. I'm really hoping to avoid a c-section this time. If things go well... we will cancel that appointment. I'm trying to keep an open mind about the whole thing... because I never would have expected my delivery with Carter to go like it did. We're just praying for a healthy pregnancy and baby... and hoping the next 20 weeks go by as fast as the first 20!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve - Part 1

We have had an amazing Christmas break (although it's flying by way too fast)! We've spent time just as a family, with family on Skype and with friends here in St. Louis. It's been pretty much perfect. I'll get to pictures of Christmas later... but first I wanted to do a little post on one of Carter's favorite Christmas gifts...

On Christmas Eve... Steven (one of our JP graduates) and his girlfriend dropped by with gifts for us. It was so sweet! Steven came in with a bag over his shoulder pretending to be Santa. Carter was so excited!! One of the many things in the bag for Carter was the gumball machine.

We've always told Carter that he could have gum when he was 6. I don't know why we picked that age... but that just seemed more reasonable than 2 or 3. Well... the age limit has changed.

It's just so funny... Steven has been a part of so many firsts in Carter's life... peanut butter, ice cream, chocolate cereal, icing... and now gum. I may have freaked out about those things 2 years ago... but the longer we've been here, the more we've realized that some things are more important than others... like letting Carter enjoy his first piece of gum with Steven.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The best kind of breakdown...

I really consider us a one car family... even though that's not really true. I think it's partly because we only use one of our vehicles for months at a time... usually because our truck is being used by a friend or isn't working. Dan LOVES his truck... I don't. Every time I pay our insurance on it I think about the money we could be saving if we just sold the truck. We go back and forth a lot about what to do with it. Anyway, we've had some battery issues with it recently (it's been sitting for a long time... and the dome light was left on for probably a week). Dan took the battery to the shop today to have it charged. A couple hours later he hooked it back up in the truck and it started right up! We decided to take a family drive into Forest Park to pick up some free firewood. We made it about a mile up the road from our house before the truck completely stopped as we were driving through a busy intersection. Thankfully Dan was able to push it off to the side of the road which is right across the street from one of our local police stations. Within minutes we had a police car parked behind our truck, Dan had called a tow truck and I called had called our Pastor (who lives right around the corner) for a ride.

About 15 minutes later Carter and I were on our way home and Dan was getting picked up by the tow truck and dropped off at our mechanic about half a block away. We love our community!! Now we're back to being a one car family and hoping the battery problem isn't anything major!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Our "go with the flow" boy...

Our sweet boy has been a rock star the past few weeks. Everything leading up to the 2 events at our house this past weekend made for a lot of people in and out of the house to get everything ready... and that meant we didn't get out very much... if we did it was mostly to run errands for the boys or the tour. So... that means in about an hour I'm going to take him to one of my least favorite places on earth... McDonald's... and let him play until he's so tired he can't play anymore (or until I can't handle the smell anymore :)). Here are a couple pictures of our rock star from last night and this morning...

Showing his love for trucks even in his sleep...

Ty helped him build the track around our tree this year. He spent the longest time this morning pushing the train around and around the tree. This picture kind of reminded me of this shot of him last year...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Home for the Holidays

We're back. The past month has been exhausting. But... the craziness is almost over. We have just one school week left before a two week break. We can't wait!! Our biggest event (and main reason for exhaustion) was this afternoon... a Holiday House Tour benefiting the Elementary PTO in our school district. We were thrilled Joe's Place was part of the tour... but I don't think we were quite prepared for the amount of work it would take (you would think we would be used to this kind of thing by now). Anyway, it's over and our house looks beautiful. We probably had about 100 people through the house today. We had all 3 floors of the house open for viewing... but I just took pictures of the decorations outside and on the main level. The reason our house looks like it does is because of Debbi (she did the indoor decorating) from the school district and our friend Joan (she's the main reason our yard and front porch looks the way it does) from church. Here are the pictures...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Our House - Version 100

Dan and I rearrange furniture... a lot. When we were in Seminary... another couple told us moving furniture was the sign of a bad marriage. We still laugh about that every time we are moving something! Anyway, we have several big things happening in December that will bring a lot of people into the house. Our largest event is a holiday house tour in the middle of the month that will benefit the MRH Elementary PTO... but also give Joe's Place some good publicity. There are lots of things that go through your mind when you think about what people will see when they tour your house. We have always tried to make this place feel as homey as possible for these boys... but sometimes it's hard when you're not working with your own furniture. A few weeks ago I asked my good friend Sarah (check out the amazing playroom she designed) to come walk through the house and give me some new ideas using the furniture we already have here. After lots of furniture moving (thanks, Dan!)... the house finally feels like it flows (for teenagers and a three year old)... and the guys love it! The best thing we did was move Carter's toy box to the basement and put a chair and bookshelf in it's place. We are all enjoying walking through the main floor of the house without stepping on matchbox cars and legos with bare feet!!

I'll post pictures of the rest of the house once all the holiday decorations are up for the tour!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

All we want for Christmas is...

gymnastics classes for Carter. Please!!! Starting at 3:30pm (every day!) he bounces off the walls until bedtime. No kidding!! We took a few pictures last night to document it. Sometimes he'll just run through the house in circles chasing the guys or Dan. Seriously though... can anyone recommend a local place?!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Maplewood House for Rent

Ok friends... we're looking for a renter for our DARLING house in Maplewood... so I thought I would post some pictures on the blog. It's a two bedroom/one bathroom with a one and a half car garage. It has a dining room and sun room that we used as a breakfast nook. It is within walking distance to several grocery stores, great shopping, fun playgrounds and amazing restaurants in downtown Maplewood. Please pass this on if you know of anyone looking!! Thanks!

Great covered front porch with a view of Clayton.

Living Room

Dining Room

Master Bedroom

Master looking into bathroom.

Kitchen looking into dining room.

Kitchen with door leading to sun room.

The 2nd bedroom is perfect for an office or...


Another bonus is that we take care of the yard and a couple of the bills. We're looking for someone to sign a lease through May 2010 or longer. Thanks for your help!!!